We caught up with Molly Manning Walker to talk about her award winning film Good Thanks, You?
Starring Jasmine Jobson (Top Boy) and Michael Ward (Steve McQueen’s Small Axe)
When Molly Manning Walker was 16 she was sexually assaulted and this awful experience prompted her to create GOOD THANKS, YOU?. This live action short film was created to encourage people to talk openly about the subject and is her directorial debut. The film stars two of the UK’s prominent new actors Jasmine Jobson who has starred in two seasons of the Netflix favourite TOP BOY and Michael Ward who recently won the 2020 BAFTA EE Rising Star Award.
In the aftermath of an attack, Amy is left voiceless, trapped in a whirlwind of incompetence. She must find a way to confront what has happened, in order to save what matters to her most.
- Hello Molly, how are you doing?
Hey! Good Thanks, you? 😉
- Congratulations on your stunning short movie “Good thanks, you?”. The movie is based on your own life. How hard was it for you to put the traumatic event you had to go through on paper?
In away its deeply therapeutic and also very traumatising. I was sexually assaulted when I was 16. The assault was something I felt I could deal with but the conversation around the assault was very traumatising. My doctor refused to give me the morning after pill until I told the police. The police told me it wasn’t worth prosecuting and yet continued interrogate me. Even at the age of 16 I was really shocked. I wanted support, I wanted someone to believe me, to listen to me. I wanted to be able to talk about it freely without all the air in the room being sucked out. I had always wanted to make a film about rape and thats were “Good Thanks, You?” came from. The process was amazing because I really got to interrogate it for the first time. We had a councillor and a intimacy co-ordinator on set who were both amazing. I felt by making the film I finally had the chance to get closure. During the process so many people reached out to say that had experienced sexual assault. It’s totally upsetting but really comforting to know there are others out there and hopefully the film opens up a space for a less stigmatised discussion.
- In this movie, the leading character is beautifully portrayed by Jasmine Jobson. How did you come across her?
I actually saw Jasmine in a play about 5 years ago. She was performing in The Big House Production – Loose Lips. The Big House works with young people who are care leavers and help them to develop a voice through theatre. Our project was a very small seed at that time but I knew she was the one! Jasmine just brings so much to the table, she says a thousand words without speaking.
- How did the rest of the cast come together, especially Micheal Ward, who’s portraying her on-screen boyfriend?
I have to shout out Isabella Odoffin here, she is a complete force. I told her my thoughts for Lewis the character and she said – “You have to see this boy he’s electric. He’s just played the lead in Top Boy, he doesn’t have a showreel but trust me!”. He came in before we had even started casting the boys and we knew straight away.
- What do you hope that people will take away with them after watching this movie?
I hope people open up to their family, to their friends and their lovers. We have to be able to talk about sexual assault or we can’t heal. Making the film has really helped me open up, I hope it does the same for others.
- “Good thanks, you?” was already selected for multiple important film festivals such as Cannes Critics’ Week, Palm Springs ShortFest, BFI London Film Festival and Raindance Film Festival. How does that make you feel?
It’s really great that the film is getting recognised. The more success it gets the more it gets seen and that’s what it is really about for me. What has been so amazing about festivals being online this year is that the access is amazing. People from all walks of life have been able to see the film and that makes me super happy.
- Will there any more film festivals the movie will be part off?
- Where did your passion for film come from?
I’ve always had a camera with me and started making documentaries when I was 16. I haven’t really put it down.
- Do you already have other projects you’re working on?
I’m currently writing a feature that is in development with film4. It’s being produced by Ivana Mckinon and Emily Leo. It looks at similar topics.